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General Information on Studying in Canada A source for all basic information on Studying in Canada, along with insights and tips. A must read if you see yourself there! 5 FAQs on study Canada New ...
|Moving away from home and on your own can be a big adjustment,
especially if you're from another country. How much will everything
cost? Where should I live? I hope this clears up a few things for
you, especially if you plan on living somewhere in Ontario.
Big City versus Little City
Downtown areas in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver will definitely be more expensive. You can always opt to rent in a more suburban (outer) part of the city. This will be cheaper and perhaps more quiet - but you won't get the same "downtown feel" and you'll have to commute a bit.
|No worries, though - our urban cities have great transportation systems!|
|Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area
Schools located downtown include Ryerson University and the University of Toronto. Keep in mind that the University of Toronto also has a Scarborough campus, which is located in the GTA region. Usually, large universities will have campuses in different regions. This will also affect how much you will be spending on rent. Schools in the GTA region include Humber College, Centennial College, and York University.
|The average cost of rent per month in Canada:
I go to the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. It's a fairly small town - about 115,000 people. It has a large student community of over 20,000 students - so there's a lot of great student housing available.
I live in a 5-floor flat that was built about 3 years ago. I have 4 other roommates, 2 full bathrooms, a laundry room, a kitchen and a living space. I live off-campus. This costs me $425 a month - keep in mind I have to pay utilities on top of $425 for hydro, gas and cable. This can range from $50 to $100. My place is pretty nice, but you can find perfectly nice ones for as cheap as $300.
|If you live in the downtown core of Toronto, expect to pay
around $450 to $1000, and living with roommates. On average, a
place right in the middle of downtown might be $650. Ask yourself
the following questions:
How many roommates am I splitting the cost with?
Are we paying for T.V. cable, phone and Internet service?
How nice is the place? Is it clean?
How big is the place? How big is my room?
Does the landlord include utilities or do I have to pay for them all?
Another important question you want to ask is:
|Can I trust these people?
Chances are if the place you want to rent seems to good to be true, it probably is. Be careful of people trying to scam you out of your money and out of a potential home.
|On-Campus Housing versus Off-Campus
You can live on the university campus (in a residence), or you can choose to rent a place.
One vital aspect of living on residence is you can always trust the university. You also have GREAT ties to clubs, activities and other students at the university. You really feel part of the whole "university experience"! You will probably meet a lot of students just like you here. Some schools offer a university residence specifically for international students. Internet service is included.
Some universities have a meal plan where you have a card filled with money and use it to buy food from university restaurants. This is really handy and convenient. Or you can choose to make meals on your own.
Other benefits of living on campus is that you're a walk away from class - so you don't to have spend money on transportation or anything like that. Everything you need is on campus.
|Food. Yum Yum.
Kraft Dinner Macaroni and Cheese costs 99 cents. If you eat one box a day, you're spending only a dollar a day on food! Awesome.
A quick restaurant meal at lunch will be $4 to $10. A typical dinner meal will be $12 to $25. Don't forget snacks, drinks (both alcoholic and non) and delicious, delicious ice cream. This can all add up.
Typically, I spend about $80 a week on food - can you tell I love food? You can cook great meals from simply buying groceries and cooking your own meals - huge bags of pasta cost only $1. Add a can of tomato sauce and you're done - you can spend as little as $10 a week on food without starving to death!
|Other Assorted Goodies
When you move to a new city, you'll need some new stuff to spice up your life.
Technology - Laptop, cellphone, I-Pod
Entertainment - Going out, Movies, Concerts
Personal items - Clothes, Makeup (if you're a girl…or if you're not, haha)
Furniture - A room can come furnished or you might have to buy stuff like a lamp, bookshelf, desk, bed and/or bedsheets, etc.
When it comes down to it, this stuff is all just - stuff. You don't really need it. Sure, you'll be comfortable, but if worse comes to worse, you can do without any of this junk.
A Re-cap of Your Average Living Expenses
|Expense||Cost per month|
|Transportation (bus pass)||$100|
|Keep in mind this is an average - you could be paying much less
or much more, depending on your lifestyle and how much you can
afford. It's all about priorities. You can find a part-time job,
enter a paid internship or co-op program, win a scholarship, and
Don't Forget Tuition
The whole reason why you're here in the first place! Average tuition in Canada is $13,985 in 2008 for international students. Again, it can be a lot more or a lot less. Don't forget fees such as club and recreation fees, student health services, gym access, etc. which are usually added on to your tuition.
|Image Credits: aveoree, exfordy|
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